meaningful pursuit

lately, every time i chirpily proclaim to someone that i think i have conquered new york city winter, the city decides to throw another snowstorm at me. i feel all the sadness from last year trying to seep its way back in. it’s been especially hard to write here during the last month or so, because i hate writing with such melancholy (hah! i know you’re thinking that everything i write sounds melancholy- i questioned it here and then referenced loren’s response here– but i truly try to be conscious and maintain a positive tone). i have all these drafts saved, and in dismay i abandon them because they are such downers.

today was especially hard. a series of events, things just happening one after another that made it so difficult to keep my head up. i sank into my subway seat this evening, wet and cold, and couldn’t even muster the energy to listen to music or read. these are the days that i don’t even want to write.

now, candles lit and tea brewed, reading leo’s article on the futility of always pushing to be more came at the perfect time. (on an only somewhat related tangent, i really enjoy Dick Talens’s articles here and here because he talks about how we should prioritize self-compassion rather than self-guilt when trying to reach goals).

i’ll be the first to say that love challenges, i love working towards new habits and becoming a better version of myself. but i tend to bully myself with feelings of guilt or disappointment when i don’t reach goals as quickly as i’d like, or if i mess up every now and then. i love to win, and i love to do well. (yeah, and as you might have guessed, i’m a really sore loser when i’m challenged to board games, but i am trying to change that.)

i like how he asks us to think about the importance of meaningful pursuits. sometimes just being able to sit still when i most want to is a challenge because i’m worried about all the things i “should” be doing. recently a friend talked about how he is restructuring his life around the people that mean most to him (rather than, for example, always saying yes to doing what leo calls “glittery and cool”). there is so much pressure in this life already- there are so many trends (like, “you should do yoga!” and “you should go on a juice cleanse!” and “you should get married!”), and we forget to work on the building blocks that will truly create a life with meaning for ourselves.

i’m making space. i chip away at fear. i’m mindful of all this discomfort- whether it stems from the cold, or unfinished goals, or what my body looks like, or getting older, or toeing the edges of heartache. and maybe i can’t shed this discomfort right away.  and maybe i won’t be perfect. and maybe i’ll have a really bad wintry day. and maybe i don’t have to punish myself for it. my friend and i explore the thought that everything is temporary. so let’s live with meaning now.

Comment 1

  1. Kristan March 6, 2015 9:34 pm

    The weather doesn’t get to me — in fact, I do far better with winter than summer — but I completely identify with the futility of always pushing to be more, with seeking self-compassion and finding it to be more motivating than self-guilt, and with wanting to prioritize things that are meaningful (to me) instead of all the “should”s in this world.

Leave a Reply